Lovlina is desperate to change the colour of the medal in Paris Olympics, she had won bronze in Tokyo

Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist star boxer Lovlina Borgohain is all set to change the colour of her medal at the upcoming Paris Olympics in France. With medals at the Olympics, World and Asian Championships, Indian boxer Lovlina Borgohain’s success in just a few years has been phenomenal. From a small village to the international podium, the young boxer took over four years to make the journey. Lovlina and her two elder sisters took up Muay Thai, a form of kick-boxing. Both her sisters have also competed at the national level.

Born on October 2, 1997, in a remote village called Baromukhia in Assam’s Golaghat district, Lovlina Borgohain’s family struggled to make ends meet during her childhood. But that didn’t stop Lovlina’s father from supporting his children’s sporting ambitions. While attending the Sports Authority of India (SAI) boxing trials at her school in 2012, Lovlina Borgohain’s talent caught the attention of Padum Boro, who eventually became her childhood coach. While Mary Kom was creating history by winning a bronze medal at the London 2012 Olympics, Lovlina Borgohain was just beginning her journey in the world of boxing. But just nine years later, Lovlina replicated Mary’s feat at Tokyo 2020. After the trials, Lovlina moved to the SAI centre in Guwahati for better training and the results were quick to show.

At the age of 16, Lovlina won the Junior National Championship in 2012 and soon made her mark at the international level. It started with a silver medal at the 2013 Nation Women’s Junior Cup in Serbia. Being tall from a young age, Lovlina Borgohain was used to fighting in higher weight divisions. So even after moving from 70 kg to 75 kg, she found success in the ring. She won a medal at the 2014 Nation Women’s Youth Cup and then in the next edition, Lovlina won a silver medal. After winning in the junior circuit, Lovlina Borgohain returned to the welterweight category (69 kg) at the senior level.

After winning gold at the India Open, the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) selected Lovlina Borgohain to represent India in the welterweight division at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia. “I focused on improving my physique and that also helped me strategise between bouts. I started performing better after that,” she said. This approach helped Lovlina win a bronze medal on her World Championships debut in 2018. She defeated former world silver medallist Kay Scott of Australia in the quarters to win the medal.

However, an ankle injury in the semi-finals hurt her and she lost to Chen Nien-Chin of Chinese Taipei. But medals at world and continental championships did not satiate Lovlina’s hunger for success and she was now aiming for an Olympic medal. Lovlina took a step towards qualifying for Tokyo 2020 with a bronze medal at the 2020 Asia & Oceania Boxing Olympic Qualifiers. She not only defeated Uzbekistan’s Maftunakhon Melieva in the quarter-finals but also made it to the nine-member Indian boxing squad for the Tokyo Olympics. Lovlina Borgohain defeated Chen Nien-Chin 4-1 in the quarter-finals to secure her first medal at the Summer Games. With this, Lovlina Borgohain became the third Indian boxer to win an Olympic medal along with legendary boxers MC Mary Kom and Vijender Singh.

The Assam boxer was also honoured with the Arjuna Award in 2020. Forced to move to the 75kg weight category after 69kg was dropped from the Paris 2024 Olympics programme, Lovlina Borgohain has already started making her presence felt in the division. She won a gold medal at the 2022 Asian Championships before becoming a world champion in the category in New Delhi next year. The Assam boxer won a silver medal at the Asian Games 2023 in Hangzhou and thus secured a Paris 2024 Olympics quota.

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